When you watch the ‘after reports’ when there has been some awful unexpected act of violence in a community and the neighbour says ‘he/she seemed like such a nice person, always kept the garden in order, collected our post when we went away. I guess we didn’t really know them’.
And Jesus has this sucker punch line where he’s having this conversation with people as time draws to a close and he says ‘I never knew you.‘
I have to be honest and say that is one of those bits of the Bible that gives me the shakes. How can I be sure?
Lately I’ve felt reminded about those lines of Jesus and those neighbourly responses.
It’s about being known, not about knowing.
There are lots of people who know me – I’m kind of loud and hard to miss at times.
But there aren’t as many who know me. People whom I am known by.
Really knowing someone is actually not always to be desired. My husband knows me – he knows how I get upset and worked up about little things and how I refuse to deal with compost because it’s icky, he knows some of the things I worry about that are ridiculous and time sapping, he knows me and he chooses to continue to get to know me….
he has come to know me truly as he has patiently stood beside me when I am being most unreasonable
he has come to know me because I have trusted him with the least attractive parts of me – I have chosen to take the leap of letting him into my fears and frustrations and fallenness.
It is possible to be married, or in a family, or a best friend to someone and for them to only know part of you, it is possible to hide away a million things about myself even in very close proximity.
The act of being known requires a giving of myself, the whole of me.
This act of allowing myself to be known by him, and some other beautiful people, has brought me great freedom, it has brought me peace, it has nudged me further towards wholeness, it has unburdened me.
I want to be known by Jesus but that doesn’t come from a performance based Christianity, it doesn’t come from weekly attendance at church, or giving, or writing, or knowing how to act like a Christian, or anything done in the public arena.
I become known when I unburden myself and I say, see this mess I’ve been carrying around? I know you know about it but I want to show it to you. I want you to see all of me. I am desperately worried that you will be disappointed in me but I want to trust you and I want to be free to be known by you and to know you and it’s too hard to hide this mess any longer.
The act of being known requires generosity
allowing the One to have an access all areas pass
and what will I find when I come out from hiding in the garden to walk with him in the cool of the evening?
I guess I will find I become known and I will being to know better the love I so desperately want.
Being known is uncomfortable and confronting and freeing. I want to be known.